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Hi,

I'm thinking about buying a PE BASH 500W amp and changing the HPF resistors but don't have much soldering experience. The process doesn't look that hard though, especially after watching some soldering videos.

What type of equipment is recommended for this type of soldering? RadioShack has a bunch of soldering pencil irons in 15, 25, 30 and 40W sizes. Any special solder needed? I'm guessing the smallest diameter, highest quality they offer.

Beginners Package
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062758

Pens
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062728
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062737
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062738
 

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A hotter iron is usually best, but will cause the tips to oxidize if you do not have temprerature control and leave it on for extended periods. Most people make the mistaken assumption that using a less powerful iron is safer. In fact, much more damage is done by irons that do not transfer heat quickly to get the job done. Holding an inadequate iron on the work longer often does the most damage.
 

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Hi,

I'm thinking about buying a PE BASH 500W amp and changing the HPF resistors but don't have much soldering experience. The process doesn't look that hard though, especially after watching some soldering videos.

What type of equipment is recommended for this type of soldering? RadioShack has a bunch of soldering pencil irons in 15, 25, 30 and 40W sizes. Any special solder needed? I'm guessing the smallest diameter, highest quality they offer.
You didn't mention a budget. I've owned a Weller like this one for over 25 years. It's not the cheapest but you will never need another soldering station.

Just as important is a good solder like this Kester .031" rosin core solder. It melts quickly and is designed for electronic work.

Good Luck
 

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A hotter soldering iron can cause damage to circuit boards so if doing that sort of work you need to use no more than a 35watt iron or an iron that has an adjustable temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. I don't want to spend a lot on one as it will only be used for one project.

Gonna buy a 30W pencil iron and their best solder.
 

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I use a chisel tip on my soldering iron at work. I use a corner of the chisel tip for small stuff on circuit boards and use the flat part for tinning wires and soldering pins (where you need to transfer a lot of heat). I'm sure the pencil tip would be fine for what you are doing. Radio shack has a fairly cheap duel heat soldering station that works well. You can use a hot iron but you just have to be quick with what you are doing, LOL. Don't spend too long on the board with and iron on high heat. Also, if you don't have heat sinks on the leads of the resistor that you are replacing you risk the chance of frying your resistor. Best way to go about it is get a little bit of solder on the iron, quickly dab the solder from the iron to the resistor lead, then let it cool for a minute and touch up after the cooling. The end result should look like a tiny Hershey kiss of solder on the circuit board. Oh, forgot to mention flux. I know some solder has rosin core but it seem to burn off too quickly for me sometimes. A small bottle of flux or rosin on hand will help the solder stick better. Good luck!
 

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For soldering I suggest a temperature controlled soldering iron. Electronic temperature control allows precise control of the heat level at the tip of soldering iron. This means that you can rest assured that your soldering iron is hot enough and ready for soldering, and at same time you know that it is not too hot to burn some temperature-sensitive components on circuit board.
 

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Temperature control is essential, IME.

The thing that most don't get is that a too hot iron is going to be LESS effective at getting heat to the work once the tip oxidizes. This can lead to overheating because you have to leave it in contact with the work too long. A clean shiny tip on a wedge shaped tip (as mentioned above) on a temperature controlled station is ideal for most soldering.
 

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So which is best for circuitry use, a gun type iron or a pencil type? I own a gun style but often have wondered what would be the better choice for delicate work.:huh:
 

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Yes, I agree - pencil type of soldering iron is definitely better. I do most of my soldering with 50W Weller WESD51 soldering iron which is pencil type of soldering iron. I change tips of soldering iron - bigger tips for heavy soldering or smaller conical tips for fine soldering.
 

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I also highly recommend Weller soldering irons.

I've been through a number of Radio Shack irons - and I've not been very happy with them. I can say that the desoldering iron that RS carries is pretty good. It's basically a soldering iron with a hollow tip and a rubber bulb to suck up solder. Makes quick work of desoldering components.
 

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I bought the digital temp controlled model from Radio Shack, have used it quite a bit and really like it. Weller might be better but at the time I wanted something decent I could go buy "right now"...and no regrets since.
 

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If you have never soldered before, there is a "feel" to it. Resisters are not all that picky compared to IC's but the last thing you want to do is tear off a part of your printed circuit board. If you have anything junk laying around practice pulling out resistors on those circuit boards. I also always like a roll of de-solder (woven copper strand) laying around if things get messy. Thats just my 2 cents but I completely agree with the pen style comments and IMHO Weller is the only way to go. Good luck!
 

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I have an HAK 936 and love it! I have a narrow and a wide tip. I also have four recommendations that I learned the slow way:

First: buy a set of hemostats from Radio Shack. They will be the most used tool you have, perhaps. They are in the soldering section.

Second, get the 63/37 solder. It goes from liquid to solid in one step so you have fewer cold joints.

Third, the little aluminum clamps from Radio Shack are great for attaching to capacitors, diodes, etc. They are heat sinks and the shed a bunch of heat saving your parts.

Fourth, a clean your tip a lot. I like a brass scrubby like one combined with a tip cleaner from Radio Shack. Others like a sponge. Just clean between every solder.

Best of luck and have fun!!!

John
 

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If you ever have an application where you are soldering to an aluminum chassis for example, a large heat sink, THAT'S where the good old soldering gun can be useful. There, you are trying to throw a bunch of heat in and aren't worried about damaging anything. Other than that, once I bought a pencil type iron I really haven't used the gun type very frequently.
 
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